Trump: ‘I Have Total Confidence’ In Tillerson, NBC Made Up ‘Moron’ Story

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet with first responders and private citizens that helped during the mass shooting, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump said he was “very honored” by the statement Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made Wednesday morning, denying an NBC story that reported Tillerson called Trump a “moron” and wanted to resign at one point this summer.

“It was fake news. It was a totally phony story,” Trump said responding to questions from reporters during an appearance at University Medical Center in Las Vegas Wednesday. “It was made up. It was made up by NBC, they just made it up. … Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence.”

In an unscheduled statement to reporters Wednesday morning, Tillerson denied the reports that he wanted to resign or that he had to be talked into returning to Washington by senior White House officials.

He didn’t deny that he called the President a “moron” — “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that,” he said — but a State Department spokeswoman told reporters Wednesday afternoon that Tillerson had told her he never called Trump a moron.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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